The Importance of Water Tablets 

by Dennis Kim

Photo Credit: Mason Mulcahy

For those who love camping and hiking, nothing is more satisfying than setting up camp near crystal-clear water after a day of trekking. Whether it’s a lake, stream or waterfall, it’s the most ideal spot to take a break. Most multi-day hikers depend on these sources of water to fill up during their backcountry trips. Even though fresh water may look clean, there are typically thousands of microbes in one drop alone. At Pacific First Aid, we supply all outdoor enthusiasts with all the essentials including two-step water treatment tablets. Having water tablets is essential for multi-day as well as day hiking. You can easily keep them in your own outdoor first aid kit.

How Do The Tablets Work?

If you’ve never used any form of water purification before, then water tablets are an easy place to start. They’ve become a popular choice as they’re packable and one of the easiest first aid products to find. When you first find your water source in the backcountry, the first thing you’ll do is fill your water bottle. Depending on the strength of the tablet, you’ll normally put 1 tablet in per liter of water. Wait about 30 minutes and then it’ll be safe to rehydrate. These tablets work by releasing chlorine into the water, which kills most pathogens and microbes.

What Type Of Microbes Should I Be Aware Of?

Although many of the microbes found in freshwater are harmless, there are few that can cause problems. A few to remember are E.coli, Giardia, fecal coliforms and Cryptosporidium. These can cause digestive issues, fevers and viral infections. Once you pack your own tablets in a first aid bag, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting them.

Conserve Your Water

If you’re doing a hike that has limited water sources, make sure you bring extra water. The amount you can bring is also dependent on the weather, intensity of the hike and your body type. If you’re usually someone who needs the extra water bottle, pack it. Lastly, if you know the hike you’re about to do is challenging, it’s recommended you pre-hydrate 7-20 ounces of water about two hours before you start.

Next time you’re planning an overnight backpacking trip or preparing a survival first aid kit, make sure water purification tablets are on your list. They’re a great way to ensure you’ll have safe drinking water without having to boil water. At Pacific First Aid, we offer great options for camping and hiking gear, including water tablets. Now you can enjoy fresh mountain water without the worry of getting sick.